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Salò - History

Thanks to the discovery of a Roman necropolis in Salò, we can confirm that the area was already inhabited in the Roman era. In 1334 Salò and the territories of the Riviera founded the Riperia lacus Garde Brixiensis, a sort of federation which did not want to form an alliance with Brescia nor with Verona deciding instead to request the help of Venice. However in 1350 it fell into the hands of the Visconti and in 1428 it returned, with all the territories of the Riviera, to the Serenissima; during these years the Venetians gave the federation the name “Magnifica Patria”. With the war of the Cambrai League the territory fell into the hands of the French and Spanish. The arrival of Napoleon in 1796 heralded the beginning of the end for the Magnifica Patria and with the treaty of Campoformio it passed into the hands of the Habsburgs. In 1943, between Salò and Gargnano, the Italian Social Republic was created, known as the Republic of Salò; the ministers’ offices were located in this area whilst the ‘Duce’ Benito Mussolini resided in Gargnano. With the beginning of the post-war period following the Second World War, Salò rediscovered its flair for tourism.

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